Kirby Congdon

Kirby Congdon was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Old Mystic, Connecticut. Drafted into the army during World War II, he attended Columbia University on the GI Bill. He is the author of dozens of books and small-press editions of poetry; his collections include Aipotu (1998), Poems from Fire Island Pines and Key West (1999), Novels, prose poems of people, Old Mystic, Connecticut Sixty-five Years Ago (2003), and Selected Poems & Prose Poems (2006).
 
Congdon started writing when he was a child and began publishing his work in his late 30s. Eric Greinke wrote that his poems “post metaphysical & moral questions in ironic spaces, like Mozart played up-tempo by a cool jazz combo.” Active in the postwar avant-garde poetry scene in New York City, Congdon co-founded Interim Books with Jay Socin and edited Magazine (a storehouse for ammunition).
 
Congdon has written plays—Presa Press released God Is Dead (Again): One-Act Plays in 2006—and a book of opinion pieces, Crank Letters (1986), as well as the volume Motorcycle books: a critical survey and checklist (1987). His work has been anthologized in Gay Roots (1991) and Inside the Outside (2006).
 
Congdon divides his time between Key West, Florida, and Fire Island, New York. He and his longtime partner, Ralph Simmons, founded Cycle Press.

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Poet Categorization

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Biography

Kirby Congdon was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Old Mystic, Connecticut. Drafted into the army during World War II, he attended Columbia University on the GI Bill. He is the author of dozens of books and small-press editions of poetry; his collections include Aipotu (1998), Poems from Fire Island Pines and Key West (1999), Novels, prose poems of people, Old Mystic, Connecticut Sixty-five Years Ago (2003), . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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